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This month’s roundup of tech news articles delves into the world of wearables and how business and government grapple with them. Read on for the top headlines.
The FDA wraps its head around wearables
Multiple years into the wearable device scene, the FDA finally came around this year on drafting regulations for devices. Released in January, the “draft guidance” outlines what kinds of devices the FDA will prioritize when it comes to regulation. This includes “general wellness” products, defined as those that are not harmful or invasive and generally encourage healthy habits. But big tech companies and industry groups are pushing the FDA to be more explicit in the guidance. Samsung suggested changes in language to be more precise about what kinds of wellness products would and would not be regulated by the agency, while the Consumer Electronics Association has additionally asked the FDA to cite specific examples of what is and is not considered a general wellness product under their guidelines.
Google gets into healthcare
Google has developed a wearable device for use in the medical field that can track a patient’s vital signs as well as light and sound in the surrounding area. In addition to detecting a person’s pulse, activity level, heart rate and skin temperature, the device can monitor for ambient environmental factors that could impact the wearer’s well-being. Developed through the Google X division and led by the director of Google’s life sciences division, the device could be a platform for another Google X project, Baseline, which seeks to establish a benchmark for what constitutes a healthy human. It’s ironic, but since all the data the medical industry collects is from sick people, we actually don’t really have a detailed template of what a healthy person’s biometrics should look like. This device could change that—but it probably won’t be available commercially.
BYOD + IoT = The future of business success
What happens when you put a sensor on everything and connect those sensors to mobile devices you give to everyone in your organization? Some companies are already moving toward this, but the future of enterprise success will depend on connected, mobile ecosystems to provide streamlined and information-rich user experiences for both customers and employees. That’s the core idea behind a June article from Manufacturing Global on using BYOD to future-proof your business. If you need more proof, check out this awesome periodic table of wearable technology from software company APX Labs. Their categorization of what wearable devices can do in the enterprise—from those enabling business processes, to facilitating collaboration or collecting information—suggests that in the workplace of the future, BYOD will mean a whole lot more than simply bringing your phone or tablet to work.
As part of TEKsystems’ public relations team, Vanessa Ulrich reads everything she can about the technology industry and emerging trends. Vanessa blogs about where technology and society collide, giving context and commentary to top news stories. You can reach her with questions and comments @TEK_PR via Twitter.